How Free Are We, Really?

Think about this mystery: If you have a container filled with some gas then, if you examine the behavior of each molecule, each molecule seems totally free, random, irrational, unpredictable.

BUT, if you study the behavior of the entire container of gas, it conforms to very precise laws of temperature, pressure, flow, etc.

Think of the gas molecule as one person, individual, but think of the container of gas as the entire human race.

On a microcosmic level, everything is very free, random and unpredictable.

On a macrocosmic level, everything is constrained by very precise mathematical laws, and quite predictable.

We see the same paradox if we compare the smooth orderly predictable motions of galaxies in Relativity, with the surrealistic vagueness of quantum particles on a microcosmic level which flicker between being and non-being.

Our mind is very linear, addicted to logic, a certain specific kind of logic, Aristotelian, syllogistic, A implied B, B implies C, etc., etc.

We try to reduce everything to that logic and we try to resolve ambiguities, paradoxes. But, there are phenomena which do not fit into that logical scheme, such as the dual nature of light, behaving BOTH as a wave AND as a particle.

Our minds want to resolve what we see as a contradiction, (and contradictions make us uncomfortable.)

The idea is that we BOTH TRULY HAVE FREEDOM AT THE MOMENT of choice AND ALSO the outcome of all choices can be foreknown, without that foreknowledge predetermining them.

Think of it in this fashion:

We are in what we call the future, looking back into what we call the past, history and we see that Brutus chose to assassinate Caesar.

We do not feel that our knowledge in any way forced Brutus to choose one particular course of action.

If a little ant is wandering on a pavement, and I am standing as a giant, to see the overall pattern of that motion, then from a perspective which the ant cannot share, I can see that the ant is traveling, on the hot pavement, in a path which will ultimately bring the ant to the cool green grass. My FOREKNOWLEDGE from my vantage point, does not rob the ant of the freedom of each step.

I am like a god to the ant, and the ant is unaware of my presence or nature.


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